By Mai Shams El-Din
CAIRO: An activist filed a complaint to the Prosecutor General Monday against the detention and maltreatment of protester Amr Abdullah El-Behairy by military police.
Laila Soueif, a Cairo University professor, said in her complaint that El-Behairy was detained and severely beaten by the military police at 2 am on Saturday.
Army soldiers and military police chased protesters in Tahrir and near the parliament building using cattle prods, beating and arresting a number of activists in the early hours of Saturday.
Soueif’s complaint challenged a statement by the spokesman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces who said in a press conference that those detained Saturday in Tahrir Square were armed thugs.
“I would like to stress that Amr Abdullah El-Behairy was not carrying any weapons whatsoever. He was being detained and beaten by the army in front of parliament,” she said.
Soueif said she and a group of other witnesses refused to leave without El-Behairy.
“An army general came to calm us down and asked a junior military officer to bring El-Behairy, whose face was severely injured,” Soueif said in the complaint.
While they were all on their way to Kasr El-Aini Street, two young men in a car stopped and offered to help them. Soueif asked them to take give El-Behairy and his brother a ride.
Minutes later, Soueif got a phone call from one of the people accompanying El-Behairy saying that they were detained by the military again.
“When I went back I saw Amr along with his brother and Shady El-Ghazaly Harb [and activist and member of the youth coalition], the two men who offered help, and another eyewitness all detained by the military police.”
“They let him go [the first time], so if he really had a weapon, the army would’ve known before they let him leave with us. But it seems that they’ve tried to fabricate a charge against him to justify his detention.”
At 4 am Ismail learned that Harb was released along with the other eyewitness, while El-Behairy, his brother, and the two men who offered help were still detained because El-Behairy allegedly had a weapon.
Amr’s cousin, Ahmed El-Garhy, told Daily News Egypt that he was also detained and severely beaten by the military police.
“We were arrested twice by the military. If Amr had a gun, how come they did not discover that the first time?”
Harb said that if El-Behairy had a gun, “he would have used it to defend himself against the military police officer who was beating him up severely. … I was beaten too, but not as severely as he was.”
El-Garhy said he was only released because his father is in the intelligence service.
“Mubarak’s nepotism is still alive, but it could not save El-Behairy,” said El-Garhy.
Ismail and Harb claim that El-Behairy’s detention is an attempt by the military police to cover up his severe injuries.
Protester Mona Seif said that when she and others tried to take El-Behairy’s picture after he was released the first time to document the injuries, they were questioned by a military officer and two soldiers on the reasons for doing so.
“They wanted to frame him with gun possession to justify their claim that they only assaulted thugs and criminals,” she said.
Although the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces apologized for the use of violence, it later said that some thugs were throwing stones and bottles at the military to create fractures between the army and the people.
“There were some infiltrators who are trying to ruin the success of the revolution,” the statement read.